By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
What was your favorite music to come out this year?
I didn't really have any. What came out this year? Did Coldplay come out this year?
What have you been listening to?
Radiohead. Old Radiohead. Not much, though. I'm going to fuck [the ball] up.
Do you have any artists on your label [Runaway Slave]?
Product. Product is an artist.
What about the 50 and Kanye albums?
Kanye had a brilliant album this year. [Swings; to ball] Get down, get down!
What about the new Jay-Z?
I haven't heard it yet. I bet it's pretty brilliant. I heard some of it. I think it's brilliant.
What about the 50 album?
I didn't listen to it. Did you?
No. What about locally? The new Trae record?
I didn't hear it. But locally, man, I'm on anything local. I really want local artists to rise and become national.
Who have you got your eye on locally right now?
Does he have something on the way?
I hope so.
Did you hit the green?
I hope I did.
What was the last record you got really excited about?
Mine. Or Kanye's.
What did you like about the Kanye record?
I liked its originality. That wasn't a bad drive, was it?
No. Are there any rock albums that came out this year that you liked?
No one came out. Who came out?
Well, Spoon had a pretty big record. Radiohead.
I didn't download [Radiohead]. I want to buy it because I really love that band.
What's your favorite Radiohead album?
I really like [starts singing, more or less on key] 'Don't leave me hiiiiigh, don't leave me dryyyyy...' ["High and Dry," from 1995's The Bends] I love that song. I'm going for eagle right here. [Swings] Awww, slow down, ball! Shit. I fucked up my eagle. Fuck! [Scarface two-putts for a bogey.]
Do you download music? Do you have an iPod?
I have an iPod.
Do you still buy CDs?
I buy everything that I like.
Tell me more about Product.
One guy's from Mississippi and the other kid's from San Francisco. I think it's some of the most brilliant rap put together from different parts of the world.
Have you ever thought about making an album with your band? [Scarface occasionally performs, playing several instruments, with a 14-piece live band.]
I want to. Contractual obligations may not allow it, but that's a big dream of mine, to be able to make an album with a rock band. I've got a rock band, the Sick Man Psycho Bastards. I'm the lead singer.
I know you did A&R for Def Jam [signing Ludacris and T.I., among others]. Are you still doing that for Rap-a-Lot?
No. I don't do that no more.
You said earlier you've been playing a lot of blues. What kind of blues are you into?
Old Delta blues. Muddy Waters' old plantation recordings. Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Son House.
That was a little later, but yeah, he's good.
What have you been listening to the most recently?
Reggae. Peter Tosh, Bob Marley. The old one-drop reggae.
Do you go out and see a lot of music?
No. I don't really know what's going on, man. I'm totally out of sync with what's happening right now.
Do you think the local rap community is as strong as it was a couple of years ago?
I hope it's as strong as it was. [Yawns] Excuse me. I think you have to grow up in anything you do. Not grow up, but you've gotta grow with your fan ase. I think that's the secret of what music is. If your fan ase is 25 and older, it's going to be hard to sell to kids [who are] 13, 12.
Do you worry about that with your records?
No, I just make music, man. I know who my fan ase is. See, I'm kind of cheating, man. I grew up with a houseful of musicians. My cousin is Johnny Nash, "I Can See Clearly Now" Johnny Nash. So I know what to do just by watching what he did. He had a brilliant career. He wrote one of the biggest songs in music history.
On your mom's side or your dad's?
Ummm... on my grandfather's side.
Did you get to hang out with him much?
Did he give you lessons or anything like that?
Hell no.Chris Gray
DJ I-Dee's tracks to relax
Unlike possibly 90 percent of his neighbors, turntable wunderkind Isaac DeLima did not, in fact, choose his South Beach digs for their proximity to the neighborhood's nonstop party. Rather DeLima, aka DJ I-Dee, initially landed in Miami almost three years ago from the D.C. suburbs with a plan to attend culinary school.
But then his DJ battle career blew up in a big way. In 2005, I-Dee was crowned the national DMC turntable competition champion, and at barely age 18, one of the youngest ever. And he'd quickly rack up a string of further national and international prizes before retiring from the battle circuit just two years later.
Growing up in Fairfax, Virginia, DeLima still remembers when his bedroom DJ brother showed him his first battle video: the 1994 DMC World Championships (Roc Raida won). He was hooked, but only 10 years old. No matter; he learned his way around the decks in secret, standing on a box to reach the turntables.